The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 52

A Ride To Port Clyde

Rich drove back to the paper and proudly showed the Jeep to Sam and everyone in the newsroom. That turned out to be the only warm day for awhile. The canvass had to kept on the jeep.
After work Rich took Sam and Katie for a ride. Sam enjoyed it, but Katie was dubious that it was money well spent.
Rich was excited about the prospect of being able to go out to Port Clyde and visit Dennis and Peggy. He couldn’t wait to show them his Jeep.
Sam and Katie seemed to value their privacy and although always welcomed, Rich felt as if he was always walking in on a private conversation. With Dennis and Peggy they immediately swept you into what ever they were doing. Life went on as if you were a part of them.
Whenever Dennis and Peggy were in town they’d call Rich and have a coffee together. However, most of the time it was Dennis by himself. Dennis was easy for Rich to like. He was always curious in what Rich thought. He loved writing and Peggy loved painting and sculpting.
Dennis’s and Peggy’s home was on the way to Port Clyde. Before Rich was hired as a reporter he had to drop papers off in Port Clyde. He would stop in to visit briefly and have a coffee
They were independent spirits. They came and went as they pleased. When showing up Rich would ask Peggy, “Where’s Dennis?” She typically said, “Don’t know,” only to find out he left earlier that morning without telling her. She never seemed to mind, nor did he when she did the same. It seemed pleasant in one way and disturbing in another. “What if something serious should happen,” Rich often thought.
Rich was anxious to show Dennis and Peggy his Jeep. When the first warm Saturday came along, Rich removed the canvass and drove to Dennis’s and Peggy’s.
They had a small place. It sat 50 yards from the road. It was weather-beaten and surrounded by scrub trees except for a small lawn. At the side of there two story home was an addition that housed Peggy’s studio and shop. In a room behind that was Dennis’s study where he wrote. It was only slightly larger than a closet.
Rich pulled into the drive and gave a quick beep on the horn. He walked into Peggy’s shop with a proud smile.
Peggy looked up from her potter’s wheel and over her spattered glasses. “Whatcha got?” she smiled. “Something to spend your money on? And be careful with the horn, you‘ll scare the customers away.”
“I bought it last week and wanted to share my good fortune,” Rich said facetiously.
“Dennis might be impressed,” Peggy said,. “but to me it looks like money poorly spent. Believe me, you don’t want the woman that’s attracted to that thing.”
“Don’t let her discourage you,” Dennis said from his study. “I was driving a Cushman scooter when I met Peggy.”
“Our first date was on the Cushman,” Peggy said.
“She accepted my proposal on that Cushman,” Dennis said.
“Love is blind,” Peggy said and added, “He still has the Cushman.”
“And he still has the woman,” Dennis said.
Peggy raised quickly and gave Rich her obligatory hug. “Now go talk man talk with Dennis about horsepower, pistons, and cubic inches.”
Rich walked though the small shop of paintings and pottery and into Dennis’s office. He sat next to Dennis at his desk and talked for a few minutes about the jeep.
Rich leaned close to him. “I would hope that someday when I marry, it will be to a woman like Peggy.”
“I heard that,” Peggy said from the next room where her hands were drenched in clay as she sat at a potter’s wheel gracefully shaping a vase. “You must want supper with us tonight. Well, you’re out of luck, buddy, it’s Dennis’s night to cook. I just hope we have a choice of TV dinners.”
“One thing you must learn, my dear lad, I have the odd days and Peggy the even,” Dennis said.
“To tell you the truth, I knew that or rather that is what Sam told me, so I got some bread, cheese and a pot of soup in the jeep,” Rich said.
“Soup!” Peggy said. “What kind?”
“It’s a lobster bisque,” Rich said and added proudly. “I made it last night.”
“Give us both about an hour,” Dennis said. “I’m working on a deadline of sorts and so is Peggy.”
“Sure,” Rich said. “I’ll bring everything in the kitchen and then drive to the general store and see what’s going on.”
After putting the items in the kitchen Rich climbed in the jeep and drove the short distance to the general store.
Rich went inside and looked around as though a customer.
He walked out the back door that faced the bay. He leaned over the railing of the dock and scanned the bay. He thought about the many times seeing this on the map and wondered how it looked. It was nothing like he imagined, but was not disappointed. He pictured a whole row of small businesses facing the ocean each sturdy and brightly colored. It was smaller then what he wondered. It was a small business district, perhaps a half dozen or so businesses, and all the boats he pictured were in a small cove a half mile away.
There was s small lobster boat beneath him moored to the dock. Two men sat on the bow. They were talking about the mayor of Port Clyde, Seymour Gaffe, having his own driveway paved with left-over asphalt from a public resurfacing project.

Suddenly, Rich’s suspicious, critical, and cynical reporter instincts gripped him and wouldn‘t let loose.